CHICAGO -- A recent federal appeals court ruling in favor of New Jersey's discarded health insurance plan could help states that want to make insured patients contribute to uninsured patient's hospital costs, according to rating agency officials and some health-care analysts.

In a 2-to-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia last week reversed a U.S. district court ruling that struck down a New Jersey hospital surcharge used to financed health care for the state's uninsured patients.

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